Moonee developers 'doing the right thing'

THE owners of land earmarked for development at Moonee have spoken out against claims they are ruining the environment.

"We're not after the world," Hillview Heights Estate director Mervyn Mercer said.

Local conservationists claim the area at Moonee is 'the most significant environmental area on the Coffs Coast', and a rally against the proposed residential development drew 300 people to a protest earlier this month.

But Mr Mercer said many claims against the development's environmental sustainability are misleading, since only 28 per cent of the area will be developed for residential purposes and 72 per cent will remain natural.

The area was originally zoned by Coffs Harbour City Council in 2000 with 68 per cent suitable for development and only 32 per cent for environmental purposes.

"We're trying to do the right thing with a bit of land that's already been zoned residential," Mr Mercer said.

"We've developed 600-odd blocks in Coffs over the years, the land at Moonee has been in our family for 30 years we're not just blow-ins looking to make money."

Mr Mercer said his family has spent a lot of money maintaining the area, including spraying for lantana, bringing in an Aboriginal group to consult on the area, and paying for the removal of rubbish throughout the site.

"Years ago we paid to deal with the abandoned cars we crushed enough cars to fill a semitrailer."

"If it's not developed, the area will be a rubbish heap and a wilderness if it's not looked after."

Today will see protestors and developers meeting for a community feedback session on the development.

Regional Alliance for Sustainable Planning spokesperson Mark Graham is not expecting much from today's meeting but that is not deterring him from highlighting the massive concerns of the residents.

"We will be presenting a petition with 1500 signatures of Moonee residents against the development, and we'll also be bringing up some important court judgments against one of the main consultants acting for the developer," Mr Graham said.

"We get the impression the meeting will not really be much of a consultation but we'll try to make the best of it.

"We have a few things up our sleeves."

The Moonee Waters community information and feedback session is set for 11am-3pm today, at the Harbour and Jetty conference room at Pacific Bay Resort.



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